The best concerts to see in Denver this week
WEDS | TORO Y MOI at OGDEN THEATRE | 11/6/13
With the recent release of the latest Toro Y Moi album, Anything in Return, Chaz Bundick should be able to transcend the chillwave label that's been assigned to him by countless critics. Like his friend and mutual mentor Ernest Greene of Washed Out, Bundick started his project as an entirely solo endeavor undertaken by someone who had learned to make electronic music but was also no stranger to conventional instrumentation. By the time of 2011's Underneath the Pine, Toro Y Moi had grown into a full live band, even though Bundick continued to write all the songs. In a group context, there's a noticeable depth of compositional development present that's only hinted at in solo performances. But from the beginning, Toro Y Moi's music has been a soulful, funk-inflected dream pop that soothes as much as it sparks the imagination.
TUES | GOV'T MULE at OGDEN THEATRE | 11/5/13
Gov't Mule formed in 1994 as a side project of Warren Haynes and Allen Woody, who were then members of the Allman Brothers Band. While both men continued to play with the Allman Brothers, Gov't Mule became quite a viable entity on its own, rooted in a similar blend of blues, jazz and rock, with a penchant for improvisational elaborations on a theme. The Mule has long had a rotating cast of guest musicians with an exhaustive list that reads like a who's who of the improvisational rock, blues and jazz world. With the untimely death of Woody in August of 2000, Gov't Mule has since written music and been involved in collaborations that would have made the late bassist proud.
THURS | IRON & WINE at PARAMOUNT THEATRE | 11/8/13
Sam Beam has long lingered in the current folk landscape as an example of an artist who is doing it right, drawing on the rich legacy of the genre's past while using softly sung poetics to explore his own subconscious and fight his own demons. On his past two albums, Beam has expanded his influences to include a mish-mash of jazzy electric funk, something that offsets his early acoustic sound with elegance, and his growth as a songwriter and a musician continues with each record. Expect heavy-lidded love ballads that snuggle right up to groove-heavy lamentations, both riddled with existential questions.
FRI | GREGORY ALAN ISAKOV at BOETTCHER CONCERT HALL | 11/8/13
Whatever size room he's playing, there's something about Gregory Alan Isakov's voice and his engaging songs that demand attention. He creates an unmistakable intimacy with both. Recorded on analog gear and mixed to tape, The Weatherman, his latest effort, captures the familiarity and rawness of his live shows. Jamie Mefford's lush, reverb-laden production makes some of the cuts feel more expansive than those on Isakov's previous two full-lengths. Bob Dylan once sang, "You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows," and you don't need to be a singer-songwriter to realize that Isakov has created something truly stunning here. Here, Isakov teams up with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra for should be a sublime night of music.